WEF Discussion Forums
Laboratory Management and Technical Issues
Number of Lab Analysts
Not sure if this is the best arena in which to inquire about this, but first a little background:
We are a wastewater treatment plant in Georgia. We currently have 2 lab analysts (the only 2 people in our lab). One of the analysts is retiring and there is some scuttlebutt about that his position may be made a part time position.
I may be wrong about this, but I thought that the EPD and not the municipality actually sets the number of people required to run a lab and I thought that at least 2 people needed to be in a lab at all times.
I can't find any info about this. Hopefully someone can shed some insight. Thanks for any help.
I don't know about specific rules and requirements, but ideally you would want two people in the lab at all times for safety reasons (working with acids, someone getting overwhelmed by fumes, cuts from broken glassware, etc.).
I used to have 2 lab techs working for me. Now that we are under NELAP, I have 2 administrative assistants who occasionally have enough time to stop documenting the tests long enough to actually run a few.
I thought it had to do with work load. I don't know how many BOD(or other high time tests) you run a week, but if you have to run more than two sets a week I would think you would need two people. If you are a NELAC lab just double the numbers, kill some trees, and take some prozac!
I work at the main wastewater treatment plant (16MGD) for the local parish government and we have one smaller plant (8MGD) plus 9 small package plants that we do all the analysis for. The main plant runs 365 days a year so we have a lab tech in the lab everyday. Monday - Friday we have 2 techs and we split the weekends and holidays. I have on occassion worked the lab by myself for up tp 3 months at a time when we were short a tech. That is very exhausting. The only time the lab is closed is for a major hurricane and that has happened a couple of times.
I think you should have at least two full time employees, who are both capable of running everything necessary. That way you are covered fully in the case of vacation and sick time. I don't think you will be able to have a part time person, who is still considered part time, if they have to work a full time schedule when your full-timer goes to the beach for a week.
Let me guess,, they are cutting back on a Lab Tech. are they perhaps creating a Management job. Thats the kind of Lunicy we have up here, reduce the front line workers and create Management jobs.
There is no OSHA prohibition on working alone in the lab, only a recommendation not to do it (called a "prudent practice").
If your state doesn't have primacy (that it, if there is no Georgia OSHA), government labs in the state at all levels are exempt from the OSHA lab standard.
Check out the latest edition of WEF's Laboratory Solutions for a discussion on all of this and the "fix" we came up with here in Portland, OR (where the sun finally made an appearance, just in time for the summer solstice).